With Google's Android platform and its Chrome OS leading the way, Linux-enabled mobile devices are expected to account for 62% of the operating systems on non-smartphone mobile devices by 2015, according to a market research report released Wednesday.
ABI Research made the prediction based largely on the growing momentum of Linux-based mobile phones currently reaching the marketplace.
"The number of Linux-oriented initiatives recently seen in the mobile industry indicates that Linux will be a key technology in the next generation of netbooks, media tablets, and other mobile devices," said senior analyst Victoria Fodale in a statement.
The mobile phone marketplace may look scattered, she indicated, but most mobile devices are actually unified by Linux and its upstream components, particularly the Linux kernel, which enables most providers to share the cost of research and development.
Their final consumer offerings, of course, are differentiated by the providers individual application and OS environments including Google's Android platform and Chrome OS, Intel-Nokia's MeeGo and Palm's webOS.
Conspicuous by its absence is Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS which use their own proprietary operating systems.
The lineup of Linux-based phones includes several from the LiMo Foundation, which to date hasn't made a major impact in the market. However, more LiMo handsets are likely to appear in accelerating numbers as more and more members introduce their phones. The LiMo foundation offers a modular platform that is plug-in-based and hardware-independent while built around Linux software. The food chain ranges all the way from chipsets to third-party software developers.
ABI Research noted that it has prepared a separate report on smartphones using Linux.